Shey Schnell

Director of Food and Nutrition Services, University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital

Shey Schnell has come a long way in his career, but his desire is much greater than his current position—he hopes someday to have a job where he can influence health care decisions and patient-centered care on a national level. His decision to move from a clinical position to a management position was a risk, but one that has paid off well. He now enjoys leading staff and encouraging the team he works with to execute personal initiatives focused on recognition, morale and safety. Shey credits his mentors for teaching him to be available to those who want to learn, and while he wants to work for change, realizing that he needs to approach it slowly and pace himself. He gives this advice for work, and also for work-life balance. Attending school and working means that the occasional break is even more important!

Hometown: Port Douglas, NY Age: 36
Education: B.S. Food and Nutrition, SUNY Plattsburgh; Graduate Dietetic Internship, Sage Graduate School; currently pursuing Masters in Health Care Administration from Champlain College.
Community Involvement: Treasurer, Managers in Food and Nutrition Services Dietetic Practice Group (National Level); Toast Masters; ADKYP; Collaboration with SUNY Plattsburgh on creation of undergraduate practicum for nutrition students at CVPH.

What’s your biggest professional success?
“I was accepted to present original research at the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo this coming October!”

What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
“We have been pushing to have more local and sustainable food purchases-up to 25%-for patient and retail services. It is exciting to see the expansion of local products in our community. There has been great growth in the CSA here at the hospital.”

What is something no one would guess about you?
“I am a dual citizen—having Irish Citizenship in addition to my US Citizenship.”

Write a note to your younger self:
“Slow down. Let the pace of change happen more naturally. Continue to take risks and expand your networks early and often. Take an opportunity to be involved in your community. Value lifelong learning—Don’t beat yourself up when things do not happen the way you intended, as there is learning in failure.”